Almost Made It

Captain Marvel
Stars: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg and Jude Law
Directors: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Scriptwriters: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet
*The character of “Captain Marvel” is based on Stan Lee and Gene Colan work.. The character of Carol Danvers is by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan.
Composer: Pinar Toprak
Cinematography: Ben Davis
Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios
Rating: PG 13 for fantasy violence and themed material
Running Length: 123 Minutes 

This filmed version of Marvel Comics “Captain Marvel” character almost made it.  Having the Captain cast with a female lead was a novel idea. Actress Brie Larson (“Room”) has the credits for the role and trained extensively for it, but she is hampered by her character having amnesia through part of the story. Eventually, the audience begins to wonder when she will remember and before the last five minutes of the movie? In the 1940’s Marvel comic books, Captain Marvel (a man) had an alter ego of Billy Batson.  By saying the word “Shazam,” Billy could transform himself into the red costumed Captain Marvel.  In the 2019 version, the leader character is Carol Danvers (Larson), a pilot with Starforce, and has her powers under control by a mysterious force.  We wait to see if (a) Carol would remember who she is and (b) would get her powers back  It is a 50/50 determination. Have patience. 

As the story here goes, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) wakes up after having survived a plane crash. She doesn’t realize it, but she is in the middle of a war between the Krees ( she landed on their world) and the Skrulls (shape-shifters) who are supposedly the enemy. You get to determine as the film progresses.  Carol goes from the Kree world to Earth and there meets a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson and digitalized to look younger) who is meeting people with extraordinary powers and doesn’t know what to do with them. By the way, at the beginning, Nick has two eyes.  There is also Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg and also digitalized to look younger) who works with Nick in S.H.I.E.L.D.  You don’t know whom to trust, as that person could be a Skrull shapeshifter. Then, we meet a cat, named Goose (“Top Gun?”) who hangs around with everyone and what is he doing there? Not only that, but Carol meets Annette Bening (she of the usually dramatic films) who comes and goes as a scientist. So, who are the good guys? Will Carol regain her memories and her powers? What color will her super suit be?  

As far as special effects, “Captain Marvel” does very well and the acting is on par with comic book films, including the cat. Brie Larson shows determination, but the charisma just isn’t quite there.  Gal Godot as “Wonder Woman,” literally glowed on the screen. For women super-heroes, “Wonder Woman” would go ahead here.  Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, shows a person trying to make a decision about working with people with powers.  His curiosity does come at a price though.  The other actors, Jude Law, Lee Pace, Clark Gregg,

Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, and Lashana Lynch as Maria, who is Carol Danvers friend, do well. Though with shape shifting, you need to be aware of who is who in a scene. 

I wanted “Captain Marvel” to be more of a “Wonder Woman” film, with more of an Earth touch. It cannot be, though, because of the heritage of the two characters. So, I’m settling for a film of a comic book character who has evolved from Billy Batson and “Shazam” to Carol Danvers and other planets including shape shifters. Remember the line from the “Toy Story” films? “To infinity and beyond?”  Such is “Captain Marvel.”  “Goose” the cat must have his own agent by now.   Perhaps, his own film in the works?  Who knows?  And what if “Goose” turned out to be a shape shifter and is really…gasp…”Lassie?”     

By the way, stay through ALL the end credits.                              


Copyright 2019 Marie Asner